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Apr 21, 2013

Perch wants 40 points

James Perch believes Newcastle need 40 points to guarantee their survival and feels that if they play the way they did against West Bromwich Albion, they are sure to stay up.

• Newcastle blog

The versatile midfielder made the 300th appearance of his career in Saturday's 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns and thinks Newcastle started to make amends after their awful derby defeat to Sunderland the previous week.

But although United now only need one win to reach Perch's target, they dropped two places to 16th in the Premier League because of Sunderland's win over Everton and Stoke's victory at QPR.

They are six points ahead of 18th-placed Wigan but Perch said: "We still want to hit that 40-point mark to be sure. Then we know we will be safe. We just hope we keep playing well and picking up points away from home, and make sure our home form is a bit better.

"If nothing else we had to show the fight and desire we were lacking against Sunderland. That is the bare minimum of any game - work-rate and desire to win the game. We lacked that against Sunderland and we knew we had to put it right. I think it showed on the pitch that we turned it round."

Newcastle have suffered badly from injuries this season and could be without Ryan Taylor for next year after the former Wigan player, who suffered a cruciate ligament problem in August, hurt his knee again.

Perch added: "Your health is the main thing and it is terrible news about Tayls. He has worked so hard over the last seven months to come back strong. It was just a freak injury in training. The lads want to do well, especially for Tayls, who may not play next season. We hope he does but it is a bad injury."

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